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Valley of the Shadow

Staunton Spectator: July 14, 1868

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-Page 01-

National Democratic Convention
(Column 05)
Summary: Report of the proceedings of the second day of the Democratic National Convention in New York.

-Page 02-

Democratic Conservative Ticket
(Column 01)
Summary: Reports the unanimous nomination of former N.Y. Governor Horatio Seymour as the Democratic candidate for President, and the nomination of Gen. Francis P. Blair as the candidate for Vice President.
Full Text of Article:

On Thursday last, the great National Democratic and Conservative Convention in New York City, nominated unanimously the above ticket for the support of all who prefer liberty to tyranny, prosperity to ruin, honor to disgrace. Better nominations could not have been made. Hon. Horatio Seymour is one of the ablest statesman in the United States, and his character for honesty, integrity, and devoted patriotism is as distinguished as his unquestioned abilities. He has been twice elected Governor of the Empire State -- in 1852, and in 1862. He is about 57 years of age. The National Intelligencer says that, "as chief magistrate of the State of New York, he made himself everywhere known as a public man of commanding ability, enlarged comprehension, and practical capacity. And since retiring from a sphere which he honored so much, there is no single individual in the nation whose counsel has been more generally sought, or whose wisdom has been more universally accepted."

The same journal says: "Gov. Seymour is too well known to the whole country to need any eulogy or explanation of his public career. It is no disparagement to others, in whatever category they may stand, to say that he ranks among the very foremost of our living statesman." Seymour being nominated for President, Gen. Francis P. Blair, jr. of Missouri was, of all others, the very person who should be nominated for Vice President, and he was, accordingly, unanimously nominated on the first ballot for Vice President. He is a son of F. P. Blair, senr., the able editor of the "Globe," and the particular friend of "Old Hickory." Gen. Blair occupies the true position, to wit: That all the unconstitutional legislation of the Radical Congress should be treated by the Executive of this nation as null and void and of no effect. He is a man of strong will, determined purpose, and intrepid, unflinching courage. He will not suffer the Radicals to cheat him out of an election if he wins it fairly. The times demand the services of such men.

The ticket combines outstanding talents with distinguished courage, and should be cordially supported by every lover of liberty. We not only cherish the earnest hope, but entertain the honest belief that it will be fairly elected in November next. Our people should be of good cheer. "There's a good time coming." Victory will perch on our banners in November, and with the sere leaves of that autumn month will fall the blasted hopes of the Radical party.

The Democratic Platform
(Column 02)
Summary: Praises the platform adopted by the National Democratic Convention. The platform calls for reform of government and a restoration of lost constitutional liberties.
Full Text of Article:

In another column will be found the platform in full, adopted at the recent National Democratic Convention in New York City. With the National Intelligencer, we think that it is worthy of the occasion of the Convention, and of the great cause which it represents. There is no equivocation, subterfuge, or evasion in any declaration. Every principle is set forth boldly, clearly, and emphatically, so that he who runs may read. Instead of the ambiguities adopted at Chicago to cover up doubtful purposes, or to conceal a mongrel policy, this platform confronts each issue distinctly, deals with it broadly, and leaves no doubt to combat by the employment of artful phrases.

The abuses, frauds, usurpations, and corruptions of Radicalism are exposed with a candor and courage which the emergency demanded, and the remedies proposed are announced in language equally emphatic and satisfactory. -- What the platform demands is absolute and unqualified reform in the Government as the only means of preserving our institutions. We seek to restore the country to its former position of peace and prosperity, to revive the Constitution in all its vigor, and to set up again the time-honored landmarks which radicalism had torn down. All these objects, and others of material interest, are included under the general idea of a thorough and efficient reform in the Government, which shall sweep away every vestige of that factious domination that has brought us to the very verge of national bankruptcy, and made imminent another civil war.

The platform requires no explanation or commentary. It speaks its own praise in the national creed which is laid down, and which, we venture to say, will enlist the sympathy and active support of a vast majority of the American people. It will carry cheer to thousands of hearts, and rouse a feeling such as has not been witnessed for a quarter of a century. The nominees of the Convention will be elected upon the platform. The fiat has gone forth. It is not a question of party, but of patriotism. -- Hundreds of thousands of old Whigs and moderate Republicans, who stood by their political organization while it was possible to adhere to it, have renounced all connection with Radicalism, and will go forward as zealous supporters of this noble cause.

Every word of the platform deserves to be treasured up, and we cannot too strongly commend it to earnest reflection.

Election in Virginia
(Column 01)
Summary: Another article exhorting Virginians to prepare for the vote on the ratification of the state Constitution. A bill within the Virginia Congress, if passed, will place the vote on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of August.
Full Text of Article:

We invoke the voters of this State to vigilance. They should hold themselves in readiness, and should see that every man is registered before the election. The Radicals are proposing to take "snap-judgment" upon them. Be ready. When the time comes for action the cry should be: "Up guards and at them."

A bill has passed the lower house of Congress ordering the elections in this State on the Constitution and for State officers, Legislature, and Congress, on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of August. The bill will no doubt pass the Senate, and Old Virginia will, in her turn, run the gauntlet prepared for her by the Washington savages! Let us stand by the State like men, and prove our loyalty and devotion, and our determination to save her from degradation and ruin. Go to work men, and never rest until it is done.

Imperative Duty
(Column 02)
Summary: The paper calls registering and voting against the proposed state constitution an "imperative duty." "The ratification of the scallawag constitution would be the 'direful spring of woes unnumbered' to Virginians and their posterity."
National Democratic Platform
(Column 03)
Summary: The paper prints the platform of the Democratic Party, which includes: restoration of all states to the union, amnesty for southern citizens, payment of the public debt, equal taxation of property including bonds according to real value, one currency for all classes, economy in government through reduction of the army and cessation of the freedmen's bureau, abolishment of corruption in government, assertion of American nationality in foreign affairs, denunciation of the reconstruction acts, aid to veterans, and wide distribution of the public lands.

-Page 03-

[No Title]
(Column 02)
Summary: A letter to the editor calling for increased participation at the "union prayer meeting."
Full Text of Article:

Allow a brief space, if you please, for a few lines which we would herewith address to the PRAYING CHRISTIANS! of our town:

Where are you upon Sabbath evenings, when the town clock strikes five? The leader of the union prayer meting is not cheered by your presence! Any who may feel the need of prayer, whether young or old, do not see you when they then go up "to the house of the Lord." Ah! Have we forgotten how gracious God has been to us -- what an outpouring of the spirit there was some months back? And shall those who were then blessed ceased to pray that greater blessings may be poured out upon this community -- that others, too, may receive a blessing! And when we meet ought we not to concentrate our prayers? If the leader would request especial prayer for the old -- for the young ladies -- for the young men -- for the ministers -- for the lawyers, and other professional men -- for the merchants -- and for all other callings; and last, but not least, for special blessings upon the efforts of the Bible Society so recently inaugurated, and which has started two colporteurs to labor among the destitute of this large county, would not our heavenly Father answer these special requests?

In conclusion, Christian brethren, let not the sun's rays be warmer than your love of Zion and of God, but come up to the help of the Lord against the night.

Staunton. July, 1868.

A Blow at Ambitious Scallawags
(Column 02)
Summary: Article from the Norfolk Virginian claiming that white Radicals throughout the South have been successful in persuading their Freedmen supporters not to run for office. However, Northern Radicals and Southern whites look down on these scallawags, and are passing legislation to keep them out of diplomatic offices.
Full Text of Article:

In the South the scallawags and carpet-baggers say by their actions, and words, too -- "Come forward, Sambo, and give me your vote; but don't ruin the country by trying to go to Congress."

This is the scallawag platform. In every State in the South where elections have been held this has been the sublime announcement of principle. "Don't ruin the country by aspiring to Congress, don't destroy the hopes of your race by aspiring to $5,000 per session."

This is the universal argument, and we know of only one darkie who has the pluck to stand against it. Thus far the scallawags and carpet-baggers have owned the negroes, and ruled them out without remorse from places of honor or comfort.

But it may comfort aspirants to know that the Radicals of the North look down on the scallawags and carpet-baggers just as the scallawags and carpet-baggers do to the negroes.-- We have evidence of this in a bill just reported to the Senate by Senator Patterson, of New Hampshire, intended to insure greater efficiency in the diplomatic service of the United States. This bill provides that "hereafter no appropriation shall be made for the salary of any diplomatic or consular officer, nor shall any such officer be allowed compensation for official fees, unless, prior to his nomination by the President and confirmation by the Senate, he shall be found competent to perform the duties of the office to which he may have been appointed."

The plain English of this is, Mr. Patterson and his party see that scallawags and carpet-baggers will imitate San Salvador Holden and apply for places abroad. The passage of this bill will defeat their ambition; for what scallawag or carpet-bagger could pass an examination -- especially if he was asked a few questions as to what constitutes decent behavior!

It may console Sambo to know that this "white trash" is looked down upon in Washington by the masters who own them. -- Norfolk Virginian.

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Amnesty Proclamation
(Column 02)
Summary: Full text of Andrew Johnson's proclamation of amnesty.